Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reclaiming My Child

My goal with this blog is to share my experiences as I try to break the hold television and computers have on my daughter. She's only 4, but if asked what she wants to do, she always says the following, in this order:

  • Watch a show
  • Play computer
  • Eat something
I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town in Idaho where we rode our bikes in the street, played Kick the Can and Hide and Seek with the neighbors, and were allowed to leave the house after lunch and play in open fields and unused lots until dinner. I floated down irrigation canals on inner tubes, played in ditches catching water skippers and explored the rocks and banks of my grandfather's lake side home.

I still remember the feeling of stepping out of the house on summer mornings, feeling the dew on my bare feet and smelling fresh cut grass. It was a wonderful childhood, something I wouldn't trade for anything.

I'm now married with 2 kids, living in rural Virginia, working full-time, and I've got an hour commute to work twice a week. I work from home the other three days and I let my daughter watch TV and play computer to keep her busy so I can work. She isn't interested in going outside by herself, and when we do go outside she wants to come back in almost immediately to watch a show.

She's being cheated of the kind of childhood she deserves and I can do so much better for her and my son.

I'm going to use this blog to share our successes and failures as I try to get my family outside more. We live in a beautiful place, and while I might not be familiar with nature in Virginia, I'm going to try to make it part of our lives.

Maybe some of you will share your thoughts and suggestions too. Please help me get the Wonder Pets theme song out of my head!

1 comment:

Amy Smith said...

It is so easy to get sucked into the T.V./computer game thing with our kids. A book that inspired me to get my kids outside is called "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder". You can check it out at:

Another good book with fun nature based activities for kids is "Nature in a Nutshell for Kids: Over a Hundred Activities You Can Do in Ten Minutes of Less"

The last book I will recommend is "Fairy Houses".

This is a book that might inspire your little girl to go outside and build her own fairy house. My son even loved this book and still builds fairy houses outside and he is almost seven. You can probably find these books through your library as well.